Thunder Skin

| October 8, 2009 | 6 Comments

Another favorite image from my two day scanathon, which is now thankfully complete.  From where I now sit I will scan no more forever.

thunder_skin

This is Lorne Glick skinning up an endless ridgeline on Thunder Mountain in the Alaska Range mountains in 2003.  The snow was slightly sticky powder which enabled us to push the skintrack angle up to 40 degrees (measured) at one point.  The ridge went on like this for a few thousand feet.

Learning to love the up is a big turning point in backcountry skiing.  Once you stop fighting it and get into the groove of moving, the sport suddenly becomes much more fun.  The descent is the icing on the cake, but ascents like this are akin to a ten pitch 5.10 hand crack in the desert – it is such fun cruising that you barely notice the physical effort.

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Help support StraightChuter.com and skin to infinity with Black Diamond Ascension Nylon STS Skins from Backcountry.com. Click on the photo below…

Category: Random

About the Author ()

Andrew McLean lives in Park City, Utah and is a gear designer, writer, photographer, ski mountaineer, climber, Mountain Unicycle rider and father of two very loud little girls.

Comments (6)

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  1. Wick says:

    Its all about the down ;-) I personally hate their slogan

  2. dr says:

    Without considerable precip and plenty of fishing and football to fill my weekends, my anxiousness for the upcoming winter is half-hearted at best. The StraightChuter fixes all that :)

  3. tobey says:

    real curious about the header photo.
    having done a few trips in the AK range and St Elias range, I have skied by plenty of those gaping holes, but fortunately never fallen in. haven’t really decided on the best approach yet for the crevasse scene and was curious what insight you might have…did your compadre lose his skis? how difficult was it to get him out? how stretchy was the rope you were using? etc
    also heard the author of COLD talking on the ak pub radio last week…is the book good?

  4. Andrew says:

    Hi Tobey – I’m not sure which header image you are talking about as they randomly rotate, but I suspect it was the one of Ben Ditto after being plucked from a crevasse in the Wrangle-St.Elias mountains. If so, it was kind of a unique situation as the “crevasse” was actually more of a massive peeling layer of snow right near the top of a peak. Because we were skiing, and on a ridgeline no less, we were unroped. When Ben punched through, his skis caught him (thank god) and we were able to approach the hole from the safer bottom side and pull him out by hand.

    I’m about 1/3 of the way through “Cold” and so far it is excellent. It was a gift from a friend and a great one at that.

  5. tobey says:

    yeah, I noticed that the images rotated after I hit submit.
    hmm sounds more or less like what we have experienced…crevasses are sneaky devils!

  6. Cameronn says:

    Andrew, thanks for the two signed copies of your book thatI purchased a couple of weeks ago. Good stuff. This is my second season in the Wasatch (Park City), after 10+ in Colorado, and I want to step up my backcounty game significantly and acquire the techniques, resources and routes that will enable me to get after
    it.

    I find the site to be useful and somewhat inspiring. Right now, I’m jonesing for winter.

    If you are ever in need of a Bc partner for some (unlikely) reason,or if anyone on this site finds themselves needing a partner for some objective just let me know.

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